a little prep work

I cook like I do everything else. Fast, varied, and I tend to ignore details. This means I can't bake ( details matter in baking)...and I often make a really good meal that I can't repeat ( because I am not quite sure what all and how much I put in it). My dad is an amazing chef. He cooks all day, follows a recipe exactly, destroys the kitchen, and uses exotic ingrediants. My mom is the best cook of the house, although my dad would be offended by that. She cooks comfort food. Uses recipes as a mere suggestion and usually reduces the fat. Their abilities and good tastes have me spoiled. They were in town this weekend and spend more on our dinner last night than my current car payment. Owen apparently loves lobster!
Despite my inherited love for food.... the last thing I usually want to do on a weeknight is cook dinner. I have tried lots of things to rememdy this....frozen pizza ( vomit), taco bell ( vomit), super suppers/dream dinners ( ok....but gets old) and we usually end up ordering pizza or eating out ( pricey and bad for my stomach). We also don't eat left overs well. They usually go to waste and I feel guilty about all the little tupperwares full of food that go down my disposal. But then...... I happened to catch an episode of Robin MIller on the food network http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_rm. The dishes didn't really win me over but the concpet did. Cook one meal......and cook a little extra.......and use the leftovers for 2-3 different meals the next few nights ( or freeze for later). So I asked for the cookbook for Christmas.....and it has 3 phases 1) meal kits ( things to cook in advance and pop out later for a quick dinner) 2) morph meals....3 leftover meals from 1 initial dinner and 3) just some good quick fixes. It isn't the best cookbook in the world recipe wise but the concepts have changed my weeknights for the better. On Sundays I spend about an hour in the kitchen... I make a quick fix meal, and one of the morph meals and have food for the week. It takes me about 10 minutes to make dinner and it is all good yummy stuff that I look forward ( so I am not tempted to order pizza). For example.....today I made a big batch of "oven fried" chicken.......the leftovers will become chicken and black bean nachos, chicken antipasto pizza and/or terryaki chicken w/ soba noodles. While that baked I cooked up some turkey italian sausage meatballs and sauce and some cheddar and broccoli soup. And the best part is that then Shaun has to clean up the kitchen. This is the 3rd week I have done it and I am hoping to save money, waste less and eat healthier. One hour of prep work seems to save me several hours during the week. If only I could apply that same principal to other areas of my life like laundry, budgeting, lesson planning, etc. But for now I think I'll just use all that extra time on the couch. Only one domestic skill at a time.


"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

Robin taught at Central Market when her new cookbook came out. It was one of the best classes I took there!